A fire at a boarding and training center for horses in Oconee County killed 18 horses Friday morning. The burning stable was discovered just after 1:30 in the morning. Firefighters arrived about 10 minutes later.
When they arrived, the 120-foot long structure was almost entirely engulfed in flames; inside, 18 horses were still in their stables.
"Basically 17 were inside the barn. One did get out but they did put it down for the mere fact that it sustained substantial injuries from burns and stuff," said state fire marshal Dwayne Garriss.
Garriss sent one of his investigators out to the scene of the fire Friday morning.
"Our investigator found that there appeared to be some arcing, potentially on one of the panel boards," said Garriss.
However, because the investigator is not an electrical engineer, the official cause of the fire will remain undetermined.
As for whether the fire was set intentionally, Garriss doesn't think so.
"We have ruled out arson for the mere fact that there was insurance on the facility," said Garriss.
He also said there did not appear to be any motive for someone to set the fire. According to Garriss, the owner of Brookwood Equestrian Center required each of his clients to carry insurance on the animals that stayed at his facility.
Likewise, the structure was also insured.
The estimated damages to property are around $350,000 for the stables, and a truck and horse trailer parked next to the building that were also destroyed.
The animals themselves were valued at more than $600,000.
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